A Chicago judge probably wishes he remembered he was being livestreamed. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
While criminal defense lawyer Jennifer Bonjean was making an argument at a video hearing before a judge last week, the judge turned to a court clerk and asked “can you imagine waking up next to her every day?” Remarks that were broadcast on the livestream. That’s a bad feeling. Ms Bonjean has now filed an ethics complaint.
In the age of hot mics and zoom recordings, can you be sued for defamation for the nasty comments you never meant to be overheard? You can, but in order to win a case for defamation, a person has to prove you made a false statement of fact that damages her reputation, and those statements are rarely of fact; they’re your opinion. Nasty opinion, but opinion. That said, a judge has to maintain decorum and fairness, so it’s possible he could face sanctions. But really, you don’t need a lawyer to tell you that your mother is right—if you can’t say something nice about someone, make sure the mic is off.